JUBA, Jan. 8 (ChinaMil) -- "I am not afraid to face the muzzle because we are here to protect the land," said Yang Yongqiang, a platoon leader of the 3rd Infantry Company of the 4th Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan, upon recalling the incident that happened a day ago.
On the afternoon of Jan 4, local time, Lieut. Yang and his men successfully expelled tens of armed militants from the weapon exclusion zone delimited by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
At about 4 p.m., Yang and 14 Chinese peacekeeping infantrymen were patrolling the restricted areas outside the UN House camp located in Juba, capital of South Sudan when two shots were heard from afar.
The 15 Chinese peacekeepers spared no time driving their assault vehicle towards the direction from where the shots were fired.
"Fifteen unidentified people were found, fourteen were armed with rifles and one was armed with a pistol, and they were pursuing a civilian in the weapon exclusion zone," reported the No 5 guard post though the wireless intercom.
The UNMISS requires the peacekeepers on patrol duty should make sure that no armed personnel enters the weapon exclusion zone.
Yang and his patrol team arrived at the scene at 16:04. "I immediately negotiated with the armed militants and told them that they intruded into the weapon exclusion zone where no firearms were allowed," Yang recalled.
While Yang was negotiating with the fifteen militants, more armed men flocked towards them and in less than a minute, the number of unidentified militants reached thirty. They aimed their guns at the Chinese peacekeepers. A conflict might break out at any moment.
Yang and some peacekeepers made their utmost efforts to argue reasonably with the armed militants. Meanwhile, on the patrol team's assault vehicle and infantry fighting vehicle, the operators of heavy machine guns and cannons were in combat readiness.
"At the time of the confrontation, the armed militants kept carrying their loaded rifles and were hysterical. The situation was very likely to get out of control at any time," Yang said.
Eventually, under the mighty deterrence of the Chinese peacekeepers, the commander of the militants beckoned to his men to holster their weapons and said they would immediately leave the weapon exclusion zone.